Grandma Moses


American Fine Art Magazine - - New Acquisition -

The Smith­so­nian Amer­i­can Art Mu­seum has ac­quired three works by Anna Mary Robert­son “Grandma” Moses. Do­nated by the Kal­lir fam­ily in mem­ory of Otto Kal­lir, the works in­clude Out for Christ­mas Trees, 1946, Grandma Moses Goes to the Big City, 1946, and Tur­keys, 1958, which de­pict the artist’s hum­ble and joy­ful lifestyle as a farmwife.

Born in 1860, Moses is renowned for her youth­ful spirit and “old-timey” style in a time where women artists were not widely rec­og­nized. “His­tor­i­cally, women artists have too of­ten been over­looked, and this is an is­sue par­tic­u­larly acute among self-taught artists, whose work was of­ten lost be­fore it was ever ap­pre­ci­ated,” says Les­lie Um­berger, the mu­seum’s cu­ra­tor of folk and self-taught art. “Moses was a notable ex­cep­tion; her work was ap­pre­ci­ated and cared for, and she be­came both an Amer­i­can icon and a mar­ket suc­cess dur­ing her life­time, a rar­ity on sev­eral lev­els. Both her story and her art are truly re­mark­able.”

Tur­keys and Out for Christ­mas Trees pro­vide nos­tal­gia for the all-amer­i­can hol­i­day sea­son and shows Moses’ back­ground as a farmwife in a ru­ral town. Grandma Moses Goes to the Big City serves as a com­mem­o­ra­tion of the artist’s first time vis­it­ing Newyork City and pro­vides a taste of her youth­ful spirit.

The mu­seum’s Mar­garet and Terry Stent Direc­tor Stephanie Ste­bich says, “The Smith­so­nian Amer­i­can Art Mu­seum is ded­i­cated to telling the story of the Amer­i­can ex­pe­ri­ence, and Grandma Moses is a key part of this story.the Kal­lirs’ gen­er­ous gift al­lows the mu­seum to share Grandma Moses’ unique style and sub­jects across the arc of her ca­reer for the ben­e­fit of the pub­lic who had long been fas­ci­nated by this Amer­i­can orig­i­nal.” The newly ac­quired works will be shown in the fall of 2023 in a ma­jor trav­el­ing ex­hi­bi­tion along with seven of her other pieces.

Anna Mary Robert­son “Grandma” Moses (1860-1961), Grandma Moses Goes to the Big City, 1946. Oil on can­vas. Smith­so­nian Amer­i­can Art Mu­seum, © Grandma Moses Prop­er­ties, Gift of the Kal­lir Fam­ily in mem­ory of Otto Kal­lir.

Anna Mary Robert­son “Grandma” Moses (1860-1961), Out for Christ­mas Trees, 1946. Oil on pressed wood. Smith­so­nian Amer­i­can Art Mu­seum, © Grandma Moses Prop­er­ties Co., New York, Gift of the Kal­lir Fam­ily in honor of Hilde­gard Bachert.

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